FPL Preview – GW1August 7, 2015
Hello, fellow manager. Ready for the new season? Me? I am. So very much. In fact my team, Calciopoli is just coming off a two-week tour of the Far East, specifically Hanoi, Vietnam and Nanjing, China mostly for the squad to get to know each other and of course to boost our coffers. Yes, there, I said it. After that I took the lads to an undisclosed location in the Kalahari Desert for three days. Why, you may ask. The season is going to be excruciatingly grueling and the technical team saw a need to prepare them mentally and also to work on upping their endurance levels. Then again I just wanted them to suffer, to atone for the suffering they are going to cause me in the course of the season. Sue me. After that we headed to two-day visit to Siberia, to cool off, literally (heh!) and figuratively (the heat of Kalahari caused tempers to flare up). And today we are in Pisa, Italy for the ceremonial start of season dinner with the Calciopoli Owner, Leader, Legend, Don Domenico Di Castan. For obvious reasons I can’t divulge the contents of his address to the team. What? I love my job.
Though obviously, Don Domenico is keen on us having a better start than the well documented wretched start to last season, where after two months of action it seemed Calciopoli had found the cold rectums of The Dug Out league’s relegation zone quite to its liking. ‘I no expect repeat of bottom!’ he barked with a trade mark heavy Italian accent. Alright! With our pre-season preparations, the rejigged squad and the new chips put in place by the league’s organizers, I’ve got no reason to doubt that we will be flying off the blocks this time round. Needless to say that this has been made crystal clear to each and every squad member through a terse riot act posted on the Calciopoli WhatsApp group. Yeah, just so no one later claims they haven’t checked their emails. Smart, no?
Right, on to the squad itself. The goalkeepers pick themselves out. Last season I preferred the Manchester United stopper David De Gea and Swansea City’s Lukasz Fabianski. With De Gea unsettled by speculation of his supposed departure to Real Madrid, I have duly washed my hands of him. Look, we need total and complete focus at Calciopoli. Fabianski retains his place as alternative to the new Arsenal man, Petr Cech. Come on, I couldn’t pass up the chance to work with this awesome bastard. With those two, I can rest easy. Now all I have to figure out is when Arsenal are likely to concede so that Fabianski can have a go. Plus, none of them cost £6m+ so yay!
Defence. Calciopoli’s Achilles heel. Which is funny because our owner, leader, legend being Italian believes that should be our strongest department. It’s like listening to Alanis Morisette’s Ironic playing on end. My technical team and I resolved that our priority in defence be identifying personnel not so much for their clean-sheet-keeping ability but rather for their contribution on the opposite end of the pitch. Pretty controversial, I know! Don Domenico will have a fit should this backfire.
Nathaniel Clyne retains his place despite his move to Liverpool from Southampton. In fact, I should say, in light of his move…With Christian Benteke’s aerial prowess, Clyne’s crosses should have their productivity more enhanced. Hector Bellerin is the league’s most attacking full back, one of the quickest and Arsenal have been tipped to have a good season so that’s a no brainer. Aaron Cresswell had a decent first top flight season at West Ham United and should kick on from there. I did not know Jeffrey Schlupp was a defender until recently – always thought him as a winger. For that he makes the squad. The final pick at the back is Simon Francis from newcomers Bournemouth. Risky choice but based on his exploits in the Championship last season, he offers a high probability of reward on the cheap.
Oh midfield. My bread and butter. This is what has made Calciopoli what it has become, and indeed, the biggest guzzler of our budget. I have to say midfield is where I’ll probably make even more changes before the season kicks off tomorrow. Eden Hazard, last season’s highest points earner is a definite shoo-in, the £11.5m price tag notwithstanding. Next is Mesut Oezil. I have a feeling this guy is gonna have a blast of a season and hopefully with Theo Walcott set to feature at centre forward, there’s something in there. Sadio Mane was a revelation last term and with Southampton playing only 3 of last season’s top 7 in their first 13 matches, not even that £8m price tag could put me off. James Milner has found a new lease of life at Liverpool and should be crucial. Lastly, Matt Ritchie again from Bournemouth is in. I sound like a Bournemouth hipster, right? Should it please the FPL gods, that midfield should be fire!!!!
Upfront, Wayne Rooney is the man. If he’s going to lead Manchester United’s attack, he might as well captain my side. Regardless of the kind of season Louis van Gaal’s men will have, Rooney will deliver the goods. The other two in the goal-getting area are more of bargains really. Saido Berahino should probably have cooled his head by now and hopefully is aiming for a glut of goals to justify his desire for things bigger than West Bromwich Albion. The potential get-out-of-jail card comes in the form of Watford’s Troy Deeney. He’s called Troy, had a marvellous season in the Championship and is Watford’s designate penalty taker. Oh, and costs £5.5m only. Would you blame me?
It is important to bear in mind that the above named squad is not cast in stone. Furthermore the overriding mantra at Calciopoli is that no one is indispensable. No one, not even me. So between now and kick off there will be changes, and of course subsequently too. Memphis Depay depending on how he settles to life at Old Trafford should force his way in especially considering he could be stationed in the hole behind Rooney. Andre Ayew seems to be Swansea’s go to forward for goals, as does his brother Jordan at Aston Villa. No midfielder was more productive than Dimitri Payet in Europe last season and he’s now at West Ham. Also West Ham are saying bye to Boleyn Ground so plenty of emotion there, which should make for great inspiration to all the Hammers. We’ll also be keeping an eye on Calum Wilson of Bournemouth (again!), Nathan Redmond and Bradley Johnson of Norwich, and the new Reds, Roberto Firmino and Benteke.
Of course there are players not mentioned here but who will feature for Calciopoli sooner or later. The likes of Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) and Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) cannot stay out for long. As soon as our medical department decrees that they are both physically over their Copa America exertions, they will be roped in. David Silva, Theo Walcott, Christian Eriksen, Harry KATRINA Kane are just some of the many that we will still look at. Also, I have an ace up my sleeve but that will be kept undisclosed.
Alright, Mr Di Castan calls for me. He says there’s something important we need to discuss. Crossing my fingers it isn’t about my performance contract. Have a successful season, will you. Oh, and the above is just for the bantz. Let the good times roll!